Employee retention : a multiple case study of South African national government departments
The purpose of the research is to identify key factors influencing employee retention in the South African national government departments as a guide towards developing effective employee retention strategies. The research was conducted in three phases. For the determination of employee turnover rates and benchmarks, 33 national departments were classified into three homogenous subgroups with respect to their number of employees (Phase one). Thereafter the employee turnover rates for each department and benchmarks for each subgroup were determined (Phase two). These employee turnover statistics were analysed for all 33 national departments in the three subgroups and used as guidelines for the selection of cases for the multiple case (Phase three). Four departments were selected from each subgroup for the case study where selection was based on a department‟s turnover rate relative to the benchmark rate. These departments participated in a cross sectional survey. The data from the survey was analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The analysis confirmed a significant relationship between employee turnover rates and responses for the combined subgroups of selected small, medium and large departments. Significant relationships were also observed for the subgroups of small and large departments. Employee turnover has a significant impact on business performance primarily due to the fact that it takes too long to fill vacant posts together with uncompetitive salary scales and the lack of skilled candidates. Further, the lack of human resourcing strategies, recruitment difficulties, problems related to monitoring and measuring of employee turnover and employee retention difficulties were important issues that influence employee retention. Future research on knowledge and systems for managing employee turnover is recommended.